The Development of the Motion Picture and Its Place in Educational Work

Geo. A. Coleman
1917 Journal of Economic Entomology  
The story of the development of the motion picture camera and motion picture projectors reads like a fairy tale of romance, yet it is the story of real scientific achievement unequaled in its account of the overcoming of apparently insurmountable difficulties. For the solution of the scientific problems involved it has demanded the best talent from among European and American mechanical experts, designers and manufacturers of lens~s, camera equipment, and chemists. The successful solution of
more » ... sful solution of these problems has only been possible through the cooperation of all. Motion picture photography was born on the Stanford Ranch, Palo Alto, California, about 1872, when Governor Stanford was induced by Mr. Muybridge to allow him to experiment in photographing the governor's horses. The first motion pictures were made by setting up twenty-four cameras in a row facing the racetrack, each camera being equipped with an ingenious arrangement of a string and spring attached to the shutter. The horse in trotting past the cameras touched each string and so released the shutter, thus taking his own photographs, a series of snap shots. Governor Stanford rendered a real service to the science of Cinematography when he took these photographs to Paris and exhibited them, thereby gaining the attention and interest of Messioner, the great animal painter. Messioner was fascinated by them, because he was himself a great student of the curious attitudes which horses assume when in rapid motion, and had already attempted to incorporate in his paintings some of his own observations. These photographs gave him just the proof he needed to establish the correctness of his own observations with his fellow artists who were disposed to criticize his ideas and work. Indeed here we have the keynote to the use of tpe motion picture in scientific investigation and instruction, viz., an infallible record. The motion picture camera has now been brought to a high state of mechanical perfection and optical efficiency. There are a number of good makes on the market. After a somewhat extende~investigation of a number of foreign makes, the author has chosen the Universal camera and tripod, made in Chicago, which, equipped· with a battery of lenses of from two to six inch focus, or longer if desired, makes an outfit adapted to all kinds of work afield, and will withstand the trying effects of all kinds of climate from the tropical jungle to the rigors of the arctic. (The outfit was here exhibited.) by guest on June 7, 2016 Downloaded from
doi:10.1093/jee/10.3.371 fatcat:ful6amrg5zeftir4hprt3svblq